Charlie Hebdo is doing what it is supposed to do: satire.

The Financial Times Deutschland on Thursday, 9/20/2012, writes:

“With the publication of the Muhammad caricatures, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo did what a satirical magazine is supposed to do: satire. The magazine’s mission is to explore the limits of politics, taste and society and, when necessary, to transgress those limits…. Such limits are very much present when it comes to addressing Islam. The fact that this transgression comes from the center-left of the political spectrum instead of, as usual, from the right-wing populists, makes it all the more important.”

“Since Islam has become starkly polarized — spurred on by Iran and Saudi Arabia — the fear of religious fundamentalists has grown in the West. It is the fanatics that perpetrate violent acts, not mere caricatures. As such, people in the West have become fearful of saying, drawing or, in the case of the controversial Muhammad film, making available the wrong thing.”

“In any case, very few people have actually seen the film — only the trailer is widely available. And in some Muslim countries, Internet access to the trailer has been blocked. Nevertheless, fanatics who are fighting for power and followers — or are eager to distract attention from their own misdeeds — took to the streets. And had it not been because of some obscure film or caricatures, some other excuse would have been found. The film and caricatures merely provide an opportunity for violence, but they are not its cause.”

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